You all probably know by now how much I enjoy the From Blood and Ash series by Jennifer L. Armentrout, so I was instantly intrigued by her latest release, A Shadow in the Ember. This is a prequel of sorts, and follows Nyktos, a character we were introduced to briefly in the last book, and his Consort.
|Pub Date: 10-19-21|
New Adult - Fantasy/Romance
From the moment Seraphina was born, her life has been forfeit. Long before she was born, one of her ancestors stuck a desperate deal with the Primal of Death to save his people, and in exchange, the firstborn daughter of the Mierel bloodline would become the Consort to Death when she comes of age. Under the guise of being the Maiden, Sera has spent her entire life locked away, but really she was training with one goal in mind: Make the Primal of Death fall in love with her, become his weakness, and then end him. If she fails, her entire kingdom will be destroyed by the Rot, which has been slowly decaying the lands.Sera has always thought of herself as a monster. She's been trained to be a weapon, trained to be an assassin. She never thought she could be anything more until she met him. The Primal of Death couldn't be farther from what she expected. Nyktos isn't the cold and calculating God she's been taught to fear, but kind and loyal, and his touch sparks a feeling deep inside that she's never felt before-- feelings she cannot allow herself to feel. As the pair grow closer, Sera begins to doubt her mission. But what choice does she have when her life has never been her own?
I'm realizing that JLA has a certain formula she uses throughout her books that she doesn't seem to deviate from. There's always a snarky badass female playing against a broody protective male. They're always attracted to one another, but due to unforeseen circumstances (usually a betrayal of some sort), they believe they can't be together, even though you know they will eventually. Also, there's a 90% chance of the book ending on a cliffhanger. Is that pretty much exactly what happened here? Yep. Did I mind? Not particularly. Even though Sera and Nyktos were essentially the same characters as Poppy and Hawke (for all I know, that may have been intentional), I still enjoyed watching their story play out. They had great chemistry and banter, which is not surprising since JLA tends to knock it out of the park when it comes to that. I also liked all the world-building and lore in this. We get snippets of these events in FBAA, so it's nice getting the whole picture. I still had the same issues I usually have with her books in that I find the writing isn't always the best. It tends to be quite repetitive, and many of the scenes just felt recycled from other books. Despite that, I still found it fun and can't wait to see what happens next.